A rapidly flowing form of yoga, Ashtanga will move you from pose to pose with each breathe. While Ashtanga is one of the ancient yoga teachings, it was popularized by Pattabhi Jois in the 1975. It's a rigorous style of yoga that follows a strict specific sequence of postures. Vinyasa yoga gets its roots from Ashtanga yoga, though doesn't follow the strict sequence that Ashtanga holds. This is an athletic and physically demanding form of yoga that will provide a 'real workout.' Great to gain strength using only your body weight.
Bikram or Hot Yoga
It's getting hot hot hot! In a sauna like room, Bikram yoga will leave you drenched. Bikram Choudhury developed Bikram yoga about 30 years ago. In an 105 degree artificially heated room with 40% humidity, you will work through a sequence of 26 poses. This series is always performed in the same order. A great choice for weight lose as you can burn 350 to 600 calories in one class.
Hot Yoga is essentially the same as Bikram yoga, but deviates from the traditional Bikram sequence. Hence Hot Yoga goes by a different name.
While almost all Western practices of yoga come from the original Hatha branch of yoga, you will find this mentioned on specific yoga classes. Hatha is the overarching category for a variety of styles. Typically Hatha refers to a gentle introduction to basic yoga postures and breathing techniques. It will leave you looser, longer and more relaxed-- and sweat free.
Vinyasa or Power Yoga
Both adopted from Ashtanga style yoga,Vinyasa and Power Yoga often relate to the same style, though you are more likely to find Vinyasa yoga in a studio and Power Yoga in a gym. Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for "flow", and vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. As an active and athletic style of yoga, Vinyasa smoothly transitions you from pose to pose. Vinyasa and Power yoga don't stick to the same sequence of poses, like other forms of yoga, so each class will vary its routine.
A purist form of yoga developed by by B.K.S Iyengar. All about alignment and deliberate sequencing, Iyengar is a very meticulous style of yoga. In order to help each student find the proper alignment. It has earned the nickname "furniture yoga" for its use of props to help with alignment-- blocks, straps and harnesses are all used. Your heart rate will stay low, but you will challenge yourself holding the same pose for a long duration. A great style to learn the fundamentals, which builds a superior foundation for other styles. Plus it systematically works every part of your body, giving you great muscle definition, not mass.
A relative new form of yoga, Anusara was developers in 1997 by American yogi John Friend. It is often described as Iyengar with a sense of humor. This mood enhancing practice is meant to be heartfelt and accepting to let your inner goodness shine. A great choice for beginner's as you won't be asked to push yourself into new poses.
Restorative yoga is just that! A relaxing and soothing way to reduce stress. Restorative yoga is not a nap, but most poses do not require exerting much effort. Often props such as blocks, blankets and bolsters are used to reduce potential strain. Often practiced on rest days to center the mind and body, or used to rehab injuries.